SonoSite and GE resolve ultrasound patent lawsuit

2 August 2008

SonoSite, Inc. (Nasdaq:SONO) has announced that a lawsuit filed against it by General Electric Company (GE) has been resolved. Following the trial court’s summary judgment rulings on July 24, 2008 the parties agreed to dismiss the remaining claims, thereby resolving the entirety of the case in the district court and negating the need for a trial. The parties have retained their rights to appeal the trial court’s decisions of last week.

GE filed the lawsuit against SonoSite on May 15, 2007 alleging that SonoSite infringed six GE patents relating to ultrasound technology. SonoSite denied infringement and counterclaimed, alleging that GE infringed four of its ultrasound patents and that GE’s patents were invalid.

In last week’s rulings, Judge Barbara Crabb ruled in SonoSite’s favour on five of the six patents that GE had asserted. The court ruled that one of GE’s patents is invalid and that SonoSite products do not infringe the other four GE patents. The court also ruled in GE’s favour on two of SonoSite’s patents finding that GE did not infringe those two patents. At that time, the court did not rule on the two remaining SonoSite patents and one remaining GE patent.

“We are very pleased with the successful disposition of this case,” said Kevin M. Goodwin, SonoSite President and CEO. “We have always believed that GE’s allegations of patent infringement were baseless and without merit and the trial court’s July rulings confirmed that. As with this first lawsuit, we strongly believe that there is no legal basis for a second lawsuit that GE filed against us this year in May. We will proceed firmly ahead to defend our legal rights.”

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